One week from tonight I go to my first class. There we will be given beginning instructions and our "food" supplies. Then for the next 13 weeks or so it is liquid diet for me. I wish I had begun the diet the night I signed up for it. I could be a couple of weeks into it by now, and all my friends and relatives who are hearing about this would see that I have plunged through the hard part--the first week. But as reality dictates, groups are scheduled at monthly intervals and so I wait and think about it for a couple weeks before I ever get started.
I'm not changing my mind. But I do feel extra pressure. Maybe that's a good thing. When my mood gets gnarly and I'm growling about every little thing because my distended stomach has become a lonely cavern, I need to know that I have relatives standing on the sidelines, cheering me on. What kind of fans might this great cloud of witnesses be?
When the Dodgers folded in the playoffs, I was disappointed, but something inside me said, "I knew they would blow it." Well, are my "fans" thinking something similar? This is a radical diet. Surely it may be very tempting to sneak a Sourdough Jack some afternoon. But there will be no question about it. I have either kept my diet or I haven't. There are no "portions" to measure. There are no point exchanges to calculate. I have my food and you have yours, and never the twain shall meet.
But that challenge is the very thing that makes me optimistic about this diet. I know I will feel better and be healthier if I do it. I hope to lose about 80 pounds. When I mount the stairs, that will be an 80 pound backpack I don't have to carry. There must be 100 miles of capillaries that I will no longer be pumping blood through, and that has to be easier on my heart. From the day I begin, they take me off my diabetes medicine. I hope to never go back, but that remains to be seen. My lungs which lost more of their capacity when I was down with pneumonia may find more room with that kind of loss of internal fat.
There are plenty of outstanding reasons for me to do this. But what of my fans on the sideline? What if I only lose 40 pounds? We I (and/or they) assess that to be a failure? The pressure is heavy indeed. Maybe I will have a stroke before I ever begin, and all my fretting will be irrelevant.